Preview: This week’s gig guide
Previously no stranger to Norwich, Irish folk singer Cara Dillon returns on the live circuit after taking a career break after the dramatic, premature birth of her twin sons. Plus Irish punks Flogging Molly, a solo date from hip hop poet Scroobius Pip and The King Blues.
Norwich Arts Centre, November 4
Previously no stranger to Norwich, Irish folk singer Cara Dillon took a career break after the dramatic, premature birth of her twin sons in 2006.
She returns to the Arts Centre having returned creatively refreshed with Hill Of Thieves, her fourth album, but the first release on the Charcoal label she's formed with partner Sam Lakeman.
The album has a significantly more acoustic sound than previous albums and also sees her returning to her roots with an outstanding collection of traditional songs.
She delivers some of her finest performances to date with sublime interpretations of classics such as The Parting Glass and She Moved Through The Fair, plus a fresh sounding Spencer The Rover, which features Cara's brother-in-law (and fellow ground breaker) Seth Lakeman on vocals, fiddle and tenor guitar.
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Dillon has one of those rare talents. Whether she's singing her native traditional songs of lost love and emigration, or their original compositions, you will be hard pressed to find a more emotive and captivating performer.
t Further listening: www.caradillon.co.uk
UEA, November 6
This has been has been a great year for Los Angeles-based Irish-American punk rockers Flogging Molly. Fresh from a stunning set at 2011's Glastonbury, a well received new album, Speed Of Darkness, and a string of headline European festival shows, the ensemble are rounding off the year with a full UK tour.
Speed Of Darkness, the followed up to their 2008 release, Float, which went on to sell over 80,000 copies in the UK and Europe, debuted at in the top 10 both in the US and UK.
Speed Of Darkness takes a hard-nosed look at the economic collapse in the US and the direct effect it has had on everyday people.
The first single from the album, Revolution, pretty much summed up where they are this, with a biting call to protest action and rousing instrumentation whipped up into a fierce brew. It is already a firm favourite in the band's live set.
The seven-piece roots punk outfit will here be bringing mandolin, fiddle, accordion and a tin whistle vigorously to bear on more songs about drinking, heritage and, er, taxes.
Pretty good craic, as they say.
t Further listening: www.floggingmolly.com
Waterfront, November 6
Distinctively attired in trucker cap, charity shop suit and that beard, Scroobius Pip is a leading light and unmistakable face of the UK's spoken word scene and its crossover point with hip hop.
Having jacked in the role of punk-bass-player for a marginally more stable career in poetry, Scroobius Pip has been proffering his everyman polemics since. He started performing on street corners or spoken word stages, for queuing gig goers, becoming synonymous with a burgeoning post-millennial spoken word scene.
Now best known as one half of unlikely chart-bothering Duo Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, the Essex wordsmith and blatant Edward Lear fan has left his knob-twiddler/producer buddy at home for this show — going solo to play the more hardcore-tinged musical backing to his lyrical poetry, as on debut solo album Distraction Pieces.
'The main difference is taking on a lot more of the punk and hardcore influences that I grew up with,' he explains. 'It's still rooted in hip hop and its still me rambling on but it has a slightly different edge to it.'
Support comes from B Dolan, who has been a leading light on the New York spoken word/hip hop scene for over a decade.
t Further listening: www.scroobiuspip.co.uk
THE KING BLUES
Waterfront, November 7
Raucous political activists/former squat party stalwarts The King Blues return to the Waterfront to play another set of blended punk, reggae and doo wop, in their inexplicably continuing rise.
With their pure punk rock spirit, big pop melodies, skanking ska guitars, romantically infused and politically charged lyrics, the trio will have your brain thinking and your feet moving in a way that, those of certain age, haven't since The Clash last hung up their Brixton guns.
Right from the get-go The King Blues' music has defied convention. Unafraid to mix up dub bass lines, doo-wop a cappella songs, ska rhythms, Lonnie Donegan-styled skiffle, British folk and gritty poetry, theirs is a stripped-down, hot-wired one where ukuleles, acoustic guitars and melodicas feature heavily.
The band began life in 2004 performing at squat parties, pavements, car parks, political rallies and on The King Blues Sound System – a mobile PA carried on a giant tricycle that the band built, allowing them to play literally anywhere. It is punk music as it was intended — engaging, forward-thinking, all-encompassing.
They've come a surprisingly long way since with their most recent album, Punk & Poetry, having crashed into the top 40. Support comes from Crowns and Cerebral Ballzy.
t Further listening: www.kingblues.com
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
Buster James (blues/rock) — Brickmakers
Reed Me To The Villains (indie) — B2
Super Action Heroes (rock) — Blueberry
The Harvs (folk/roots) — Brewery Tap
Impulse (metal) — King Edward VII
Secondhand Blues (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Norwich Folk Club — Christ Church Centre
Music House: feat. Lefty + more (acoustic) — Wensum Lodge
The Rockin' Johnnies (rock'n'roll) — Gatehouse
Propaganda (indie) — The Project
In Rapture (rock/pop) — Lakenham Cock
Graham Chatt — The Nelson
Tony Cann — Perseverance
Twee Off: feat. Action Beat + more (indie) — Arts Centre
All Sorted!?!: feat. Club Smith (indie) — Epic
The Stylotones (ska/reggae) — Brickmakers
The Myrmidons (rock) — B2
Metal Lust: feat. Megadeth UK + more (tribute/metal) — Waterfront
Shake, Rattle Roll (rock'n'roll) — Arkwrights
Outhablues (blues) — The Stanley
Tickled Pink (rock/pop) — Lakenham Cock
Dr Misfit (rock) — Blueberry
Burning Crows (rock) — Boundary
Vikki H — Angel Gardens
Vic Salter — Gatehouse
Kevin Solo — Heath House
Alan Ley — Quebec Tavern
Lenny T — Royal British Legion
Rosie Vanier (pop) — The Bicycle Shop
Floating Greyhound (rock/4pm) — Boundary
Rich Buddie (jazz) — Walnut Tree Shades
Egypt (blues/rock) — King Edward VII
Blues Up Two (blues/2.30pm) — Brewery Tap
Scarybird — The Leopard
Julie Dawn — Royal British Legion
Chippy — Lakenham Cock
Celtic Session (Irish) — Gatehouse
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers
Deaf Havana (rock) — Arts Centre
Metal Lust: feat. White Wizzard + more (metal) — Waterfront
Stookey Blues (folk) — Micawbers Tavern
Brickie Sessions (open mic) — Brickmakers
Jazz N Jam — Blueberry
Reggae In The Crypt — Bedfords
Stevie Jackson (indie/folk) — Waterfront
Matthew Who?: feat. Collider + more (charity) — Arts Centre
Partikel (jazz) — Rackheath Green Man
Live & Direct (acoustic) — Rumsey Wells
Brickie Blues Club — Brickmakers
Maverick Sabre (hip hop) — Waterfront
Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers
Rise Against + more (rock) — UEA
Adrian Edmondson & the Bad Shepherds (folk/rock) — Waterfront
Mary Coughlan (jazz/folk) — Arts Centre
The Thinking Men (blues/jazz) — The Bicycle Shop
Electricity (blues/rock) — Rumsey Wells
Firewire (pop/rock) — Brickmakers
Quiet Stars Quintet (jazz) — Brewery Tap
Soul Power 74 — Blueberry
Dr Misfit (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Vagabond (pop) — Rose Tavern
Johnny Jump Band (blues/rock) — Micawbers
Mark Anthony (soul) — Beluga
Open Mic — King Edward VII
Open Mic — Garden House
Open Mic — The Wildman